Chapter III: Oblique

An excerpt from
Diary of the Oblique
Entry 13: 249
Date 64 of 7499 SC


Oh diary.

Ohhh diary.

You don't have any idea how hard it is.

They caught me yesterday. They, Father, whatever you want to call them or him, I was caught. Stealing credits, they said, which is fine with me. I steal. I'll admit it to you, diary, or anyone that asks. I'm not a liar.

But I don't go announcing the fact to everyone.

Twitchy, they used to call me, and it suited me fine. I would have been happy with Smelly, to tell the truth. But Oblique is just plain annoying..

You don't have any idea how hard it is being a thief named Oblique. People watch me now, once they know what it means, and it's a different kind of watching than the one before. They're 'surveilling' me, not watching me with interest. I'm being hounded. I almost have it as bad as that poor bastard Ambidextrous, once people figure out he's right handed and look for another meaning.

But it's not all bad. Not all is lost. At least they didn't call me 'Thieving'.

Stealing credits I can live with. It earned me this name, it earned me a Time Out, but I'm still here. That's why I let them believe it's what I was doing. I don't know if I'd still be here if they knew I was really poking around 'the Cold Gods'.

I don't care what Pious says; those are not Gods. There is a feeling inside of me that just knows this is wrong. So I pry. I pry and I pry and I avoid the guard posted there with ease and I pry. Father isn't creative enough to catch me, and yet my work is slow.

But I'm getting somewhere, I can feel it.

Here's what happened.

I went by there yesterday. Father stopped me, asked me what I was doing. "G-going for a s-s-stroll," I said. "M-mother recom-m-mends I exer-c-cise to h-help with the... the t-... the tw-..." The twitchiness kicked in and finished my sentence for me, but Father isn't exactly bright, and so it waited for me to finish. I finally got a hold of myself, and managed "Twitchiness." Father let me go, and once I'd passed him, I doubled back behind the Cold Gods, all signs of the twitch gone.

It's one of the reasons I steal, diary, but you know that. I've tried other things, and nothing calms me quite like getting down to business. Notice my typing is much better now? I've taken to swiping anything I can before I write. It helps a lot. But back to my story.

There's a panel back there. I don't know what it does, but it's locked, so it must be important. Locked means forbidden. Locked means not for the Children.

Locked means it's begging for me to open it.

Father found me, though; must've heard me tinkering. I hear it coming, though; damn things make a racket whenever they move. So I pulled out some credit coins, made like I was counting them. It asked me what I was doing, and I told it, haltingly, that I wasn't doing anything.

It took me away, and Mother and Father questioned me. They seemed relieved when I 'finally' caved and told them the credits were stolen, and I was hiding back there to count my spoils. They gave me a Time Out and the new name and I was on my way. I thnk they were just trying to scare me.

It didn't work.

I need a few materials, since I've never seen anything like the lock back there before, I'll find out what it's hiding. There are two guards there now, but I can handle it. I'll go when we're in Power Saving Mode, and they won't hear a thing this time. That's tomorrow.

Tomorrow, they'll see that my thieving is the least of their concern.

Twitchy Oblique Truth-Seeker

The End

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